For many people, a skincare routine has been a constant, even as other aspects of daily schedules were dramatically derailed. While day jobs were reduced to remote meetings from home, and socializing was limited to strictly-the-necessities excursions, workplace warpaint and after-dusk glam have taken a backseat. Estée Lauder’s well-known “lipstick index” is no more, as skincare sales shot up instead during 2020’s economic uncertainty. And the ceremony of priming and applying for a night out has mostly been replaced by rituals of skincare as self-care, with each step of cleansing and moisturizing holding more intent than they did a year ago.
“Quarantine has made us rethink not only our skincare but our lifestyles,” says Barbara Paldus, founder and CEO of Codex Beauty. “In 2021, as we all interact over Zoom and social media, the fresh-faced look has prioritized a radiant or glowing appearance. Makeup can help give you a temporary glow, but nothing can replace the beauty of naturally glowing skin.” Edwige Gandin, beautician at Dubai’s Pastels Salon, agrees that the additional time spent at home has allowed us to hone our skincare routines in lieu of the usual facials and treatments. “Quarantine has changed how we use skincare and what we demand from it,” she highlights. “During lockdown, people were forced to work and socialize via screens and so were confronted with looking at themselves, often without makeup or social media filters, more frequently.” The result of all this extra indoors time? People are better prepared to invest in results-driven skincare, which champions multitasking products and potent formulas. Rather than introducing the umpteenth product to your skincare schedule, experts stress that simplifying an overloaded routine down to only the essentials can be the reset your complexion needs. By carefully selecting skincare products that will specifically target an area of concern, you have a greater chance of meeting your dermal goals, notes Nesrine El Khouri, La Prairie’s education and coaching manager for the Middle East. “Now, more than ever, women want to address their skin concerns, to gain back glowing, healthy, and youthful skin,” she says. “They are investing more in the products that would ensure these results, products backed by science and new technologies. It is not enough to have formulas with just the basics anymore.”
For 2021, energy-boosting and anti-inflammatory ingredients are working in sync to soothe and improve your complexion. For high-performance actives, fermented skincare is leading the charge in the science-meets-organic category, with the natural fermenting process creating some of skincare’s most effective ingredients. Meanwhile, skin clinic clients are sidelining more drastic nips and threads in favor of subtle laser work, high- tech treatments able to coax your complexion into a naturally beautiful vibrancy. “Now, it’s all about looking refreshed and natural rather than ‘done,’” emphasizes skincare expert Rebecca Treston from Dubai London Clinic. Her pick for an inner glow is the next generation of laser treatments to tighten and tone exactly where needed.
By focusing on potent formulas and scientifically proven ingredients, this year’s skin trends are embracing a less-is-more philosophy, with experts predicting minimal adjustments for maximum effect. From concentrated ferments and stress- soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients, to next level lasers, your path to an ongoing glow is clear.
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Originally published in the January 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia